March 19, 2012
Canada retained their unbeaten record and top spot in the rankings with an 8-7 win over the Czech Republic in the seventh session of round-robin play at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2012 on Monday afternoon, but they had to fight all the way back from giving up a score of five in the second end to do so.
The Czechs blanked the first end and then Canadian skip Heather Nedohin had a complete miss with her last stone in the second, but even at that, Czech skip Linda Klimova had to play an accurate pick-out on a Canadian stone while not disturbing her own stones to score the five, and she did.
But as Nedohin said later, the Canadians “got mean” after this and clawed their way back with a two in the third and a steal of three in the fourth to level the game.
In the second half of the game it was all one-way traffic in Canada’s favour, with three successive single steals that let them build up an 8-5 lead. The Czechs had no real answer in the closing ends, and Canada survived.
Afterwards, Nedohin said, “after the second end, I said to the team ‘it’s how we respond’ and we responded the way I’d like to see us respond”, and at the fifth with the scores tied at 5-5, she said simply, “it’s tied, it’s a fresh game.”
Following their good early start, this was the third successive loss for the Czech team. In Monday’s morning session they had gone down by 7-8 to Denmark, with the Danes scoring a crucial three points in the seventh end and resisting the Czechs’ onslaught in the closing ends. Afterwards, Danish skip Lene Nielsen said, “I think we are beginning to find the form we found last year, a couple more games and we will be there.”
Behind Canada, Korea and Sweden have each played one game more, and both had successive wins in the sixth and seventh sessions.
Korea played Scotland on Monday morning, and built up a 4-0 lead by the fifth end before winning by 7-2, while in their afternoon 8-3 win over USA, both skip Ji-Sun Kim and third player Seul-Bee Lee were given 100% success-rates by the official statisticians.
After their win against Scotland, Korea Skip Ji-Sun Kim said, “that was very exciting and a fun game, but it was really difficult. I feel very good after getting the win and hopefully we will get better and better”, while her comment after the win over USA was, “I’m very surprised, I don’t know how we have got four wins but it feels very good. I hoped to reach play-offs, now I want a medal”.
These results mean that Scotland is tied for third place on two wins with Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, while USA have yet to win a game after four appearances.
Sweden had two good wins to keep them in joint second place with Korea. In the sixth session, they beat Germany by 10-4 in just seven ends, thanks largely to a three in the second end and a five in the seventh, and a pleased lead and skip Margaretha Sigfridsson said, “we had a really good feeling all the way through this game. I think we stepped up a little bit this game. We’ve played well in all the games, but this game was the best with good energy. Now we’re a little more used to the ice – which is really, really good - we’re getting to place our stones exactly where we want them.”
Their afternoon win over Switzerland was closer and they only really moved ahead at the end, with twos in each of the eighth and tenth ends sending them to a 7-4 win. After this game Sigfridsson said, “we are getting more and more confidence. I think we played fantastic today” adding, more generally, “I think at this championship, a lot of teams are beating each other - a lot of the teams are really, really good”.
Monday was kind to Italy, who recorded their first two wins after they had opened their campaign with three losses.
In the morning game against Russia, it looked like Russia would hand the Italians another defeat when their skip Anna Sidorova played a nice draw-shot to score three in the sixth end and lead 5-4, but Italian skip Diana Gaspari had different ideas, scoring a three of her own in the seventh and then following that up with another three in the ninth when she hit out a Russian stone for 10-6 win. Italy then ran Russia out of stones in the tenth to record their first win.
After this game, Gaspari said, “we’ve been increasing our performance game after game, and finally we get the win, so we are really happy. We didn’t stop believing after three losses, and this is the right way to go on”.
And she took her own advice in the seventh session when another solid performance gave Italy a 7-5 win over China. The Italians were 3-4 down as the teams started the eighth end, with China blanking the previous three. But China’s skip Bingyu Wang was heavy with her final draw and Italy stole three for a 6-3 lead that became 7-5 when the teams swapped singles in the closing two ends.
After this game, Gaspari said, ““we are still very much alive and are really happy. I think the difference has been that we are controlling the weight better, with the brooms and also with the throws”.
Session 6: Scotland 2, Korea 7; Russia 6, Italy 10; Denmark 8, Czech Republic 7; Germany 4, Sweden 10.
Session 7: Italy 7, China 5; Korea 8, USA 3; Sweden 7, Switzerland 4; Czech Republic 7, Canada 8.
Team standings after 7 Draws
Czech Republic 2-3